Kirsten Dunst Battles Depression, Not Drugs and Alcohol

Exclusive! For the first time, Kirsten Dunst goes on the record about her battle with depression

By Marc Malkin May 27, 2008 7:24 PMTags
Kirsten Dunst, Ryan GoslingPacificCoastNews.com

Kirsten Dunst is hard at work shooting her next movie, All Good Things, on New York’s Upper West Side.

But she’s decided to focus on something else today—opening up to dispel rumors and tabloid reports that she sought help earlier this year at Cirque Lodge treatment center in Utah due to alcoholism and substance abuse.

“I didn’t go to Cirque Lodge for alcohol abuse or drug abuse,” Dunst tells me exclusively during a lunch break on All Good Things. “I went there for depression.”

The 26-year-old Hollywood veteran makes a point of explaining that while she consulted doctors along with family and friends about treatment, it was ultimately her decision to make.

“It was a good six months before I decided to go away,” Dunst says. “I was struggling, and I had the opportunity to go somewhere and take care of myself. I was fortunate to have the resources to do it. My friends and family thought it was a good idea, too. But I didn't know where to go. My doctor recommended Cirque Lodge.”

Dunst says she’s decided to go public with her depression and treatment because she’s not the only one who finds herself facing the ongoing—and often nasty—speculation in the press and elsewhere.

Most recently, erroneous reports alleged she was fired as the face of Miu Miu because of her personal problems, when in fact Dunst’s six-month work with the fashion house was never intended to go any further than it did.

“There’s been a lot of misrepresentation about what is going on in my life, and it’s been very painful for my friends and family,” she says. “Everyone feels like they have to defend me. They hear the rumors, and it puts them in a defensive position. Now that I’m feeling stronger, I was prepared to say something.”

While naysayers out there may groan that a young, wealthy Hollywood starlet should have nothing to be depressed about, Dunst says mental illness doesn’t know any such boundaries. “We’re all in the same boat together,” she opines. “Depression is pretty serious and should not be gossiped about.”

Hopefully, the very personal revelation will encourage people to stop speculating and move on—while allowing Dunst to focus on making her next movie. And speaking of that project, Dunst also scoffs at claims that there’s an on-set romance brewing between her and her hunky All Good Things costar. “I am not,” she says with a laugh, “dating Ryan Gosling!”